Attorney General Jeff Sessions Eliminates Requirement on Full Hearings for Asylum Seekers

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced plans this week to do away with a requirement from a 2014 ruling by the Justice Department’s Board of Immigration Appeals that demands that all asylum seekers be given a full hearing in front of an immigration judge. Once this rule is eliminated, immigration judges will have the power to deny asylum to those seeking it based only upon an initial review of their petition. While Sessions and others in the Justice Department claim that this will ease the backlog of cases currently in the court system that are preventing judges from providing relief to deserving candidates, there are others who have expressed concern at the possibility of endangering thousands of people by sending them back to their native countries without giving them adequate time to explain their situation. Getting rid of this requirement causes particular concern for asylum seekers who file their initial petitions without help from an attorney. This group…

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